greek town century ancient
GAZA, an ancient city of Philistia, close to the sea and to the south boundary of the Holy Land. The Hebrew is more correctly rendered in English as Azzah (Dent. ii. 23), and means "strong." The modern Arabic form of the name is Ghazzeh. The town stands on an isolated hill about 100 feet high, and has now a population of 1800 souls. It is divided into four quarters, the eastern suburb consisting entirely of mud houses. A magnificent grove of very ancient olives forms an avenue 4 miles long north of the city. On the south-east are a few palms. There are many lofty minarets in various parts of the town, and a fine mosque built of ancient materials. A 12th century church towards the south side of the hill has also been converted into a mosque. On the east is shown the tomb of Samson (an erroneous tradition dating back to the Middle Ages). The ancient walls are now covered up beneath green mounds 1 of rubbish. The water supply is from wells sunk through the sandy soil to the rock ; of these there are more than • twenty - an unusual number for a Syrian town. The land for the 3 miles between Gaza and the sea consists principally Of sand dunes. There is no natural harbour, but traces of ruins near the shore mark the site of the old Majuma Gaze or Port of Gaza, now called el Mineh, which in the 5th century was a separate town and episcopal see, under the title Constantia or Limena Gaza. In the 7th century there were numerous families of Samaritans in Gaza, but they became extinct at the commencement of the present century. Hashem, an ancestor of Mahomet, lies buried in the town. On the east are remains of a racecoThrse, the corners marked by granite shafts with Greek inscriptions on them. To the south is a remarkable hill, quite isolated and bare, with a small mosque and a graveyard. It is called el Muntar, " the watch tower," and is supposed to be the mountain " before (or facing) Hebron," to which Samson carried the gates of Gaza (Judg. xvi. 3). The bazaars of Gaza are considered good. An extensive pottery exists in the town, and black earthenware peculiar to the place is manufactured there. The climate is dry and comparatively healthy, but the summer temperature often exceeds 110' Fahr. The surrounding country is partly cornland, partly waste, and is inhabited by wandering Arabs. From the 5th to the 12th century Gaza was an episcopal see of the Latin Church, but even as late as the 4th century an idol named Mamas was worshipped in the town.
GAZA, THEODORUS (c. 1400-1478), one of the leaders of the revival of learning in the 15th century, was born at Thessalonica about the year 1400. On the capture of his native city by the Turks in 1430 he removed to Mantua, where lie rapidly acquired a competent knowledge of Latin under the teaching of Victorino de Feltre, supporting himself meanwhile by giving lessons in Greek, and by copying manuscripts of the ancient classics. About 1410 he became professor of Greek in the newly founded university of Ferrara, to which students in great numbers from all parts of Italy were soon attracted by his fame as a teacher. He had taken some part in the councils which were held in Ferrara (1438), Florence (1439), and Siena (1110), with the object of bringing about a reconciliation between the Greek and Latin Churches ; and in 1450, responding to the invitation of Pope Nicholas V., he went to Rome, where he was for some years employed by his patron in making Latin translations from Aristotle and other Greek authors. From 1156 to 1458 he lived at Naples under the patronage of Alplionso the Magnanimous; and shortly after the latter date he was appointed by Cardinal Bessarion to a benefice in the south of Italy, where the later years of his life were spent, and where lie died at an advanced age in 1478. Gaza stood high in the opinion of most of his learned contemporaries, but still higher in that of the scholars of the succeeding generation. His Greek grammar, in Greek (ypapp,aroccis €10-araySis 13113Xca 8), first printed at Venice in 1195, and afterwards partially translated by Erasmus in 1521, although in many respects defective, especially in its syntax, has done good service in the cause of sound learning. His translations were very numerous, including the Problentata, De Ilistoricr Animaliunt, De Partibus Animalium, and De Generatione Animalism of Aristotle, the Ilistoria Plantarunt and De Causis Plantarunr of Theophrastus, the Proldemata of Alexander Aphrodisias, the De Instruendis Aciebus of and some of the Homilies of Chrysostom. He also turned into Greek Cicero's De Senectute and Snnniuva Scipionis, - with much success, in the opinion of Erasmus • with more elegance than exactitude, according to the colder judgment of modern scholars. He was the author also of two small treatises entitled De Mensibus and De Origene Turcarunt.